With the Voodoo Music Experience falling on Halloween weekend, the festival is particularly kid-friendly. The VooBoo stage will present family and kid-oriented musical performances as well as dance and storytelling. Some of the highlights include Rebirth Brass Band drummer Derrick Tabb's Roots of Music band, and Saturday will feature trick or treating on the festival grounds. Admission to the festival is free for children 10 and under when accompanied by an adult ticket holder.
-Voodoo introduces an artist autograph tent this year. Look for a schedule of musician appearances at the F.Y.E. music store tent.
-The Bingo! Parlor will be busy with extras. Aerialist Suzy Sidesaddle will take to the ropes when Ratty Scurvics begins his set at 11 a.m. Friday. The 50-member Japanese gospel group Brother Taisuke Mass Choir will perform under the big top. And the New Orleans Bingo! Show will be joined by original member, violinist Brynn Savage, during its performances. Other Bingo! Show guests include cellist Helen Gillet, the Noisician Coalition and members of burlesque troupe Fleur de Tease. The animated music video for The Preservation Hall Hot 4's version of "St. James Infirmary (King Britt Remix)," which was released recently on YouTube, will be screened throughout the weekend. The sepia-toned, 1930s-styled cartoon features Bingo! members and Preservation Hall band member Clint Maedgen rumbling through the French Quarter and historic New Orleans sites.
-During her Saturday night set (8:15 p.m. to 10 p.m.), DJ Soul Sister will transform the Preservation Hall tent into the Thriller Dancehall. She'll spin Michael Jackson tunes and zombified members of Fleur de Tease and the Camel Toe Lady Steppers will perform the dance routine from the landmark music video.
-The Voodoo grounds will feature several large-scale art installations, many of them with interactive features, making the fest a more conceptual but less flammable rival to Burning Man's creative indulgences. Molly Gochman's Welcome may look like a series of burial mounds, but in fact spells out the title greeting in Braille. Works spread throughout the central mall and grounds include a giant hammock that can hold as many as 30 people and a towering 108-rung ladder. Obelisk is a massive sundial, which like many other pieces, will be lit at night. The works are curated in association with Life is Art | KK Projects, the Bywater art gallery.
-Voodoo is tech friendly. A Voodoo app for iPhones was released recently. Subscribers to Voodoo's Twitter feed will receive announcements during the festival about special promotions and events.
-Voodoo may set the stage for some new world records. Bingo! Parlor organizers are dead-set on besting the 4,026 total for the largest gathering of zombies (roughly anyone dressed in black clothes, white face makeup and blood-red enhancements) set at a British rock festival. Zombies should sign up at the Bingo! tent and return in costume at the close of Saturday night's KISS and Morning 40 Federation performances. The Picnic Table Project (www.thepicnictableproject.org) is trying to set the record for the world's longest picnic table. The current record is just over 126 feet. After Voodoo, the table will be cut into 8-foot segments and given to area parks and locations. City Park's dog park is slated to get several tables.